The Dice Tower Awards 2014

Posted on by Jesta

I was very honoured to be able to vote in the Dice Tower awards this year.

The winners have been announced, so how did they compare to how I voted?

Let’s get straight to it.

Best Reprint

My Vote: Abstain
Winner: Ticket to Ride: 10th Anniversary

I hadn’t played enough of the nominees to feel I could vote in this category.

The updated Ticket to Ride does look fantastic though.

Best Party Game

My Vote: Spyfall
Winner: Spyfall

I admit my vote for Spyfall over Cash n Guns may be influenced by the latter being played A LOT in a short space of time. I got tired of it. But Spyfall itself is a good game… But I often find it a little cagey as players try to say as little as possible sometimes.

It’s my favourite of the nominees though and a deserved winner.

Best Artwork

My Vote: Imperial Settlers
Winner:Abyss

While Abyss and Imperial Assault have great general artwork, Imperial Settlers has artwork that enhances the game. It’s very cute too with lots of little details you can easily miss if you don’t look REALLY closely.

But, Abyss has great underwater fantasy artwork…

Well done to Xavier Collette.

Best Components

My Vote: Xia: Legends of a Drift System
Winner: Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Those metal coins! That gives Xia my vote over the miniature heavy games nominated even though Xia’s minis are pretty nice too. and painted.

I wonder if the Star Wars influence got this win? ­čÖé

Best Two-Player Game

My Vote: Dice Masters
Winner: Star Realms

Although I don’t play it as much as I’d like or even as much as I used to, Dice Masters is still a very well made game. Star Realms, while enjoyable, has a lot of maths to it and it can be clunky as you play card after card after card, adding each to an every increasing turn long combo.

But, it is insanely popular and a deserved winner.

Best Cooperative Game

My Vote: Dead of Winter
Winner: Dead of Winter

Pretty much the only one on the list I want to play again and again. Also, the traitor thing removes any Alpha play… Although Witness does a good job of┬áthat too.

I’m glad Dead of Winter won.

Best Strategy Game

My Vote: Five Tribes
Winner: Five Tribes

One of my favourite games of all time and by far my favourite of the nominees. I would play Kanban and Imperial Settlers again but I don’t like either as much as I like Five Tribes.

Well done to Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder.

Best Expansion

My Vote: 7 Wonders: Babel
Winner: Tuscany: Expand the world of Viticulture

The expansion for 7 Wonders adds so much more to┬áa┬ágame that any other nominated expansion. Playing either of the 2 modules adds a lot to the game. As much as I like Terra Mystica, Fire & Ice doesn’t add too much extra.

I hadn’t played Viticulture with ALL the expansions but I hopefully will in the future.

Best New Designer

My Vote: Splendor
Winner: Alchemists

This is a designers first or second game.

Most people would be happy with Splendor if it was the second game they designed. I’d also be happy if Alchemists was my first game ­čÖé But I do like Splendor and it’s complex simplicity.

Alchemists is a great deduction game that uses an app, and uses the app well.

Well done Matúš Kotry.

Best Family Game

My Vote: Camel Up
Winner: Splendor

I love Camel Up and for a family it’s great. It’s suitable for kids and adults and easily playable by all. Yeah there’s technically gambling but that’s fine for me. Splendor is a good family game too but doesn’t have the ‘fun’ of Camel Up.

You can’t deny the popularity of Splendor though… It is a good game for people of all ages which is what this category is all about.

Best Game from a Small Publisher

My Vote: Medieval Academy
Winner: Star Realms

A company with 5 or less published games.

A very fun and simple drafting game. It doesn’t have the oomph of 7 Wonders but is better than the other lighter games like Sushi Go! and Fairy Tale.

Also, the art and competitiveness over each space on a tile is a lot of fun.

You can’t argue with the popularity of Star Realms though. I do play it quite a bit on the iPad… It’s a nice combative, small, cheap, deck building game that is a lot of fun to play and build combos.

Well done White Wizard Games.

Most Innovative Game

My Vote: Tragedy Looper
Winner: Tragedy Looper

For innovation Tragedy Looper gets it for me as the other games are good, but they have small twists on already existing ‘things’.

Tragedy Looper feels like a completely new game to me so deserved to win this.

Best Theme

My Vote: Dead of Winter
Winner: Dead of Winter

Out of the nominees this is the only game with a theme as far as I’m concerned!

It seems people agree with me ­čÖé

Game of the Year

My Vote: Five Tribes
Winner: Dead of Winter

I’ve played all 10…

Xia and Imperial Assault I can leave and Star Realms I’ll only ever play on iOS.

I’ll be open to playing Kanban, Imperial Settlers and Alchemists again. I enjoyed each one after playing them. Dead of Winter is just above them in this category as I have played it a lot now and still like it.

Dice Masters I love but getting to play it is near impossible!

But, Five Tribes was my Game of 2014 and none of the other entrants have convinced me to change my mind.

But, you can’t argue with the popularity of Dead of Winter, winning 3 awards this year.

Congratulations to Jonathan Gilmour, Isaac Vega and Plaid Hat Games.

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